Common Ground for Theists and Atheists

Most, if not all of my writing is from a theistic perspective.  I do hope that atheists do not feel excluded, and that instead everyone can feel the love inherent in these posts for everyone, with respect for the diversity of our beliefs.  Moreover, we do have common ground. It is this common ground that I would like to explore here today.

In my experience, atheists have done an excellent job of rejecting a whole lot of terrible ideas about who God is.  So, we actually share a lot of common ground.  For instance, I refuse to believe in a patriarchal god, whom some people call “the man upstairs.”  I do not believe in a judgmental god, nor a vengeful god, nor a god who is exclusive to any single religion.

We do, however, have more common ground than that between theism and atheism.  Let’s explore that common ground with a few questions, if you will.  Please join this quest for commonality either as a spiritual person, who does believe in spirit, or as an atheist, who does not believe in any sort of god as creator, or otherwise.

Do you believe in God?  Whether you answer ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ I would like to ask you a few more questions, seeking a common ground.

Do you believe in consciousness? Have you ever experienced awareness or consciousness within yourself?  Have you ever observed awareness or consciousness outside yourself? I believe we have all experienced consciousness, awareness, or conscious awareness in ourselves, and observed it in others.  I believe we can all agree that consciousness is essential to human life.

And yet, I have to ask:  Can we touch consciousness?  Can we directly see consciousness?  We find that we can neither touch nor directly see consciousness, although we may experience it as well as see the manifestations of it, whether at a brain level or through speech or action.

Do you believe in peace?  Have you ever felt peace inside yourself?  Have you ever experienced peace or peacefulness outside yourself, perhaps in nature or somewhere else?  Do you believe in the importance of peace?  I trust that the majority of humanity values peace, and prefers to feel some sense of peace inside themselves and would prefer to experience peace around themselves in both a physical and a mental sense.

Can we touch peace? Can we directly see peace?  Again, we can neither touch nor see what we call peace, although we definitely value peace, both internally and externally.

Do you believe in love?  Have you ever felt love inside yourself?  Have you ever experienced love from someone else? Do you believe in the importance of love? Do you believe in the power of love?

And yet, can we touch love? Can we directly see love?  With our five senses, it seems that we can neither touch nor see love, although we can feel love and experience the benefits of love.  We can also see manifestations of love such as hugs and sharing and protecting and affirming one another.

So, indeed, we have a lot of common ground for some of the most important spiritual essences of life.  I use the term ‘spiritual’ for consciousness, peace, and love, because these are all intangible yet essential and even revered qualities of life itself.

In the spiritual philosophy that I have come to understand through meditating, reading, and practicing energy healing, I have come to understand consciousness, peace, and love as qualities of the divine.  So, if you have experienced consciousness, peace, and love, then you have experienced what I call ‘God.’  For me, conscious awareness is divine, peace is divine, and love is divine.

Whether or not you call any of these things divine or ‘god’ isn’t essential, but consciousness, love, and peace do matter.  On that, I hope and trust that we have common ground.

May it be so!

Blessings of love and light to you,

Carol “Anandi”

Truth and Illusion: The Politics of Spirituality and How One Person’s Lie Is Another One’s Truth – discount offered on Barnes and Noble

About selfrealizationtherapy

I am a healer, life coach, author, and spiritual teacher. While I am ordained in the Christian tradition, I have also studied Eastern spiritual disciplines and practices, including Raja Yoga Meditation; Intuitive Coaching; Reiki; Falun Gong; and other forms of energy healing for both people and animals. I am available for distance healing and spiritual coaching via phone, Skype, WhatsApp, or Facetime; please email me at: carol.dodson.richardson@gmail.com to schedule a session. My goal is to assist you in connecting with your Higher Self to find fulfillment, peace, health, and happiness in life. I typically work with people for about six weeks, and then they either take classes with me and advance more, or simply go their happy way. While I cannot guarantee results, many clients find that in a few short weeks, more is accomplished than could be with years of traditional talk therapy. Born on the equator in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I grew up moving back-and-forth between Africa and the United States my whole childhood and youth. We lived in three different countries in Africa, and three different states in the USA. I now live in Maryland, close to Washington, DC. I was widowed at the age of 28 when my 34-year-old husband died suddenly of a cerebral aneurysm that hemorrhaged, leaving me with an infant and a toddler. This crisis led me to believe that God loves us even when "bad" things happen, and also led me to pursue spirituality and become a minister. In 1996, thanks to "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramhansa Yogananda, and a meditation class called Raja Yoga, I started on an Eastern spiritual path, a journey which included becoming a healer and a mystic. On Thursday, May 27, 2010, I experienced what I call an Enlightenment Vision, in which I ascended and was blessed by Ascended Masters of many faiths: Master Lao Tzu, Mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, Jesus Christ, Lord Buddha, Paramahansa Yogananda, High Priest Melchizedek, Lady Kwan Yin, Master Usui, and then by the Seven Archangels of the Seven Rays. After this vision, the teachings in Higher Consciousness began. Apparently, my crown chakra was opened, and direct contact with the Ascended Masters has been possible ever since. My message to everyone is: this is possible for you to achieve as well, although getting there is not necessarily quick or easy. With a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University Divinity School, a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Texas Health Center at Houston, and a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Texas Christian University, I perceive a unity in my readings in Eastern religions and in Biblical studies. As a result, I believe the original message of Jesus Christ was and is a call to Self-Realization, which may also be called following The Way (a term used in the book of Acts by very early "Christians," although they did not call themselves "Christians;" they called themselves Followers of the Way. The Way, or the Tao consists of the practice of peace and love in every moment, honoring the Divine Presence within ourselves as well as within others. The Way of early Christianity was a spiritual practice which similarly focused not on the material world, but on the practice of Divine Presence within the earthly realm. When we practice The Way, or The Tao, we become one with Divine Peace, Love, and even bliss. When we attain this, we experience the "Kingdom of God" or Reign of God, within ourselves, Nirvana or possibly Samadhi. Achieving this Way within each of ourselves is the only way we will be able to usher in the Reign of Divine presence among us all here on earth. The ultimate goal of The Way, and of Self-Realization, is the attainment of unity with the Divine Consciousness, or Buddha-Consciousness or Christ-Consciousness, within, and beyond our normal mortal mind. This Unity-Consciousness is eternal, but begins in the here and now. May it be so.
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